AS+GG’s Holistic Approach for Creating High Performance,Sustainable Architecture

Adrian Smith Gordon Gill
"We believe that architecture has a unique power to influence our world. As architects, we must recognize and respect our role in shaping civic life. We strive to create designs that aid society, advance technology, sustain the environment and inspire those around us to improve our world," Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Founded in 2006, Chicago based architectural and design firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AG+GG), is a Conflux where three renowned architects Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill and Robert Forest of varied expertise works in proximity to provide clients a one-stop shop solution provider for different design and architecture requirements either it be sustainable or contemporary. The togetherness of these three giants, make AG+GG, a practice with diverse portfolio and dedicated to the design of high-performance, energy-efficient and sustainable architecture on an international scale and also specializes in the design of supertall skyscrapers such as the Kingdom Tower, which will overtake the Burj Khalifa once completed.

Moreover, the practice is dedicated to the creation of new paradigms for sustainable development and uses an integrated design approach that emphasizes symbiotic relationship with the natural environment -- a philosophy they've termed "global environmental contextualism." This approach, which takes into consideration building orientation, daylighting, generation of wind power, solar absorption, and a site's geothermal properties, represents a fundamental change in the design process, in which form facilitates performance. It's predicated on the understanding that everything within the built and natural environment is connected and that a building's design should stem from an understanding of its role within that context -- locally, regionally and globally.

AS+GG strive to create intelligent, high-performance, forward-looking designs that exhibit timeless and enduring qualities. The firm embraces a holistic approach to design and believe that the future of architecture relies not on a changing aesthetic but on the implementation of an integrated process, predicated on an equal understanding and consideration of each project discipline.

Crystal Center

The firm approaches each project, regardless of size or scale, with an understanding that architecture has a unique power to influence civic life. The architectural firm flourished well in a short span of time and today has around 100 employees with projects located around the world.

Pillars

kingdom Tower
The founding partners of AS+GG prior to establishing this firm were associated with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for decades. All the partners and directors of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture have over 40 years of experience, master-planning more than 250,000 acres (100,000 hectares) and millions of square feet in major cities across the globe. Moreover, the practice includes designers with extensive experience in multiple disciplines, including technical architecture, interior design, urban planning, and sustainable design.

Due to its approach for creating and developing high-performance, energy-efficient, sustainable architecture, the firm has number of recognition and awards to its credit. Recently, it has been learned that Adrian Smith, designer of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and a champion of sustainable design received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Texas A&M at spring commencement. Widely regarded as the world's leading authority on super-tall buildings, Smith is an outstanding alumnus of the College of Architecture and founding principal of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. His honorary degree was authorized by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents at their Jan. 31, 2013 meeting, following recommendations from the Texas A&M Faculty Senate and university president R. Bowen Loftin.

In addition to designing super-tall, sustainable buildings, Smith is committed to the greening of existing structures and helping the building design industry meet its goal of "zero net energy" buildings by the year 2030. Toward that end, AS+GG developed plans for a "green" retrofit of Chicago's Willis Tower, popularly known as the Sears Tower, that could cut the building's electricity usage by 80%.

Smith's journey to the height of his profession began with four years of architecture study at Texas A&M from 1962-1966, before he was lured to Chicago for a summer internship, where he eventually finished his degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago and landed a job at Skidmore, Owings & Merill. He stayed at SOM for four decades, advancing through the ranks and eventually serving as chief executive officer from 1992 – 95, before leaving in 2006 to start AS + GG.

Smith has been a practicing architect for more than 40 years. His unique design approach emphasizes sensitivity to the physical environment. He considers each project holistically, taking into consideration site orientation, climate and geography, cultural and social influences to create highly sustainable projects that achieve contextualism within the global environment.

Masdar Headquarter

Throughout his career, Adrian has played an active role in international projects and developments. His extraordinary body of work includes some of the world's most recognizable landmark structures, including the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai; Rowes Wharf in Boston; and Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, the world's tallest structure. Projects under his design direction have won over 110 major awards for design excellence, including five international awards, eight National AIA awards, 23 Chicago AIA awards, and two ULI Awards for Excellence. His work has been featured in major museums in the United States, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

AS+GG's second founding partner Gordon Gill is one of the world's preeminent exponents of performance-based architecture. His work, which ranges from the world's largest buildings to sustainable communities, is driven by his philosophy that there is a language of performance: a purposeful relationship between formal design and energy/carbon performance.

His work includes the design of the world's first net zero-energy skyscraper, the Pearl River Tower (designed at SOM Chicago), and the world's first large-scale positive energy building, Masdar Headquarters. These landmark projects achieve energy independence by harnessing the power of natural forces on site, striking a balance with their environmental contexts. Gordon's designs also include performing arts centers, museums, single family homes and urban master plans across the globe. His work has been recognized widely around the world and in 2009 he was selected as Chicago's Best Emerging Architect by the Chicago Reader. In 2013, Gordon was elected to The College of Fellows at the American Institute of Architects.

Dancing Dragon
Last but not the least, the firm's third important pillar, Robert Forest, has extensive knowledge and experience with the execution of projects on an international scale. Robert's expertise in both project management and technical architecture contribute to his comprehensive understanding of both the built environment and the practice of architecture.

He is dedicated to the advancement of the management discipline within an architectural context. After over a decade spent practicing abroad Robert's has developed a unique understanding of architectural practices across the globe and has utilized this knowledge in the management of numerous large-scale, complex projects. He works diligently alongside design teams from all disciplines throughout each project, ensuring that designs are executed with a careful understanding of each client's goals and vision.

Quest for New Insights in Design

AS+GG collaborate with the world's leading experts such as scientists, artists, sociologists, philosophers, thinkers etc and strive to expand their perspective and generate new discoveries and insights into the world of design. Most recently, the partners co-founded PositivEnergy Practice, a consulting firm that designs and implements energy and carbon reduction strategies for clients around the world. Many more developments are on way to come.

Ar. Parul Zaveri Abhikram

I believe that ‘architectural style’ should be a response to the various climatic zones in context of India, to be designed according to clients’ personalities and project needs. Each place has a plethora of creative solutions, that have evolved using local resources and techniques, which constitute the part of our architectural knowledge. It is necessary to achieve a balance between continuity and desirable change, without fossilizing the past, and without making the change incongruent with... Read More ...

Ar. Reza Kabul ARK Reza Kabul Architects

I believe in liberating spaces, not enclosing them. Every space needs to have a good optimum, be it a small sized apartment or large commercial offices. Every good designer analyses the plans from the client perspective, regarding practicality, functionality, and accessibility, before executing it. I don’t believe in confining spaces between four walls, on the contrary, I believe in open spaces, both for the interiors and exteriors.It takes exemplary quality to reach elusive heights. The... Read More ...

Ar. Lalichan Zacharias Atelier

My approach to design is simple and open. I start my design with two guiding factors: the requirements and the site. I would like to see the building grow from the site naturally while fulfilling the requirements. I try to keep it extremely simple and responding to the climate. Integration of nature in the built form is always given importance.  Round Chapel Kalamassery Ar. Geoffrey Bawa’s works have always inspired me. Another aspect which influence my design is the sociological aspect of it.... Read More ...

Ar. Sourabh Gupta Archohm

I believe that the language and vocabulary of architecture is not a question about style. Every building is built for a specific purpose, in a particular setting, for a set of audience, and it is therefore intentional that we don’t impose any pre-defined visual form onto a project, rather let things emerge as the project evolves. There is a deliberate attempt to not make specific choices in our design directions.As a philosophy, we try to work on projects that allow an element of... Read More ...

Ar. Jay Shah Access Architects

Architectural style is characterized by the feature that makes a building structure notable and visibly identifiable. Every architect has a specific style and I would call mine “form follows function” as was the thought of Architect Louis Sullivan. However, my style of architecture is not confined to one kind since every client is different, every project is unique, every plot is diverse, and every functionality brief is exclusive. So, any one style of architecture doesn’t work as the design... Read More ...

Ar. Dinesh Verma Ace Group Architects

My style is versatile. In today’s context, where pace and universal availability of materials supported by technology is the base, it is but imperative to develop designs that are adaptable and go with the times. Around 30 years back, when I started my design practice, local and natural materials were in use, Granite was not less than 75mm thick, walls were minimum 112mm and wood was available in plenty. We did a lot of work in natural brick, stone and wood. Even today, the Mysore Haat... Read More ...

Ar. Alfaz Miller & Aahana Miller ABM Architects

The designs by our firm have not changed the skyline of cities, but our smaller architectural projects of commercial buildings and bungalows have made a significant design impact, producing architecture that is site specific, sensible and timeless.We believe in architecture that is simple and controlled and lacks stylised decoration. With large exposure to interior design, the buildings we design are practical with emphasis on function rather than just form. The designs are constructive, with... Read More ...

Ar. Ahmed Shaikh Ahmed & Associates

Architecture is an ever-evolving process and depending on the lifestyle, material availability, weather conditions, and geographical location, we can apply various types of styles. In Mumbai, for instance, we can see contemporary architecture along with classical typology.I believe that there is no single style to work on as we try to give multiple options depending on the clients’ requirements. Our style includes contemporary, classical, art deco, and minimalistic, which we can identify by... Read More ...

Ar. Shobhan Kothari & Ar. Anand Menon ADND & KdnD Studio

We constantly strive for simplicity of form and design. Our architectural style is a minimalistic interplay of lines, planes and volumes. We believe that beauty lies in the ability of a design to be explained through a few lines. We constantly explore the power of lines and their ability to shape space. We work intuitively to create spaces that are episodal and spatially engaging. The core aspects of scale and proportion in design are constantly debated upon to arrive at spaces that balance... Read More ...

Ar. Arpan Johari AW Design

We believe that an architect’s signature style should serve more than just being a set of features to identify ‘the architect’. At AW Design, climatic and site response are the essential guides to evolution of our building’s aesthetic language. In case of interiors, it is the purpose, services and available internal volume around which proportions, openings, systems are designed.Given that most of our work is in the hotter regions of the country, we have developed an unsaid affinity towards... Read More ...

Ar. Monish Siripurapu ANT Studio

The nature around us consists of divergent facets that can be aptly fabricated to alter the paradigm of Architecture and Design. Not only is it inspiring in terms of its organic forms but is also helpful in imparting us with a natural know-how of functionality. So, when Ant Studio came into being, I was convinced that we had to create designs that not only celebrated nature but blurred the lines between the built and the un-built. As a result, ‘Biomimicry’ emerged as a style that I wanted to... Read More ...

Ar. (Dr.) Harish Tripathi & ID. Jyoti D Tripathi Architect Harish Tripathi & Associates

Over the years, we have positioned our efforts around the belief that the best objects of nature are simple, not complicated. Consequently, we try to create buildings with simple forms and facades. This is often achieved, in our case, through the case of sunken windows wherein the building is double skinned and neat. This way, unwanted protrusions get negated and the double layer of the façade provides a better response to climatic extremities.We have always been fascinated by the virtues of... Read More ...

Ar. Babu Cherian Babu Cherian Architects

I believe good architecture is one wherein functionality and aesthetics form a harmonious conglomeration in a way that successfully follows the context of the land and its traditions while exuberating its rich culture. With an unceasing love for Kerala and a thirst for reviving the past, I believe my architecture is in essence a contribution to the future through a tribute to the past. While my professional portfolio consists of a mixture of architectural styles, a majority of my projects are... Read More ...

Prof. (Ar) Charanjit Shah Creative Group

For an architect, the primary function is to create usable spaces for the masses; only with a true understanding of humanity can he or she create the kind of human settlement which is required for a common man.Since the inception of my career in 1970, I have believed that a built form should not be treated as a dead mass of brick and concrete, but as a living organism, allowing it to breathe with nature. Only when one respects the site conditions and existing natural resources, one can build... Read More ...

Ar. Iqbal Chaney Chaney Architects

Architectural design is an expression of an individual’s understanding and comprehension of the client’s need and demand, translating it into design and thereby establishing an individualistic style. This style, over the years, gets imprinted so strongly into the personality of the individual and the team that it gets hard to distinguish the two. The individualistic designs evolve into a statement and are marked as a style. The style of many great architects in the modern era has become the... Read More ...

Ar. Dikshu C. Kukreja C.P. Kukreja Architects

We believe that design is a process and not the end product. It is a journey of discovery, innovation, evolution and eventually, creation. With each project, we aim to “read” and “respond” to the built and un-built contexts of the urban scape. The most important exercise in the design process is to read the silent gestures of forms and spaces, to converse with the natural environment and then translate those gestures into architectural ensembles. We refer to it as “Responsive Architecture” – a... Read More ...
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture
NBM&CW

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
L&ST

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport
II&TW

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week